LulaBelle Handicrafts

the place for crafty inspiration

Ink Splatter Coasters

For Christmas, I treated myself to a craft product I’ve been wanting for ages – alcohol ink. I’m still in the early stages of experimenting with my six different Adirondack Bright Alcohol Inks. Previously I made a couple of beautiful glass ornaments.

For my next project, I chose to make coasters. Those of you that have visited the blog before have probably come across my other posts about coasters. They are wonderful gifts. I also like making coasters because they are  inexpensive. If this project turned out horrible (which it luckily did not!), I was only going to be out about $.70.

The 52 Weeks Project has a great tutorial with lots of pictures for Alcohol Ink Dyed Coasters. The tutorial assures you that you can’t really mess these up and even gives you a tip on how to correct any “mistakes” you might make.

My coasters may look a tad different than the tutorial. After applying a few drops of my base colors, I actually picked up the coaster and moved it around so that the colors would swirl and cover more area. I will warn you that this resulted in alcohol ink on my fingers, so I don’t recommend that you let the little ones do it. I then added drops on top of the base colors and allowed them to spread on their own.

Ink Splatter Coasters

I thoroughly enjoyed making these coasters mainly because the process was fun to watch. Chemistry was always my favorite science in school because reactions fascinated me. They still do. Each new drop of ink resulted in a chemical reaction that altered the look of the coaster.

Ink Splatter Coasters 2

I certainly recommend this project for anyone new to crafting with alcohol inks. Not only is the skill level beginner, but the cost of the project (minus the alcohol inks) is fairly low. I am sure that I will be making more of these coasters, especially as I continue to add new colors to my collection. Happy alcohol ink crafting!

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Map Coasters Tutorial

Of late, I’ve become very fond of DIY coasters. They are super affordable, easily customizable, and fairly simple to create. I realized that I’ve yet to make any featuring maps, so I set out to change this yesterday.

For a little inspiration, I scoured Mod Podge Rocks and found some from Casa Sugar by way of the San Francisco Chronicle. How’s that for giving out some due credit? Theirs featured upcycled coasters. Since I didn’t have any on hand and can’t really see buying new ones just to redo them, I decided to head to the hardware store in search of tiles. I splurged (a whole $.33 a piece!) on agora tiles because they have a gorgeous, old world look. I then headed home and spent the better part of yesterday afternoon making my new coasters.

Now that you know where we’re going, let me tell you how to get there.

Supplies:

  • Map
  • Ruler and Pencil or 3in. Square Stencil
  • Scissor or Paper Trimmer
  • Wax Paper
  • Brown Ink Pad
  • 4 4×4 Almond Agora Tiles
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint Brush
  • Clear Indoor/Outdoor Sealer
  • Adhesive Cork Circles

Step One:

The trickiest part of this craft may be choosing your map. I used maps of Canadian cities from my infamous 2000 atlas. Why Canada? For one, several Canadians read my blog, so it’s a nice nod to them! Also I liked the amount of water, aka blue, in them because I knew that it would beautifully complement my almond tiles. I made a square stencil with my Slice Elite, but you could also use a ruler to mark out your squares. Because I am so enamored with these tiles, I wanted my map pieces to be 3×3 to allow a significant amount of tile to be shown in the finished product.

Step Two:

With my squares drawn, I cut them out with scissors. You could also use a paper trimmer.

Step Three:

Before getting into the potentially messy parts of this craft, I covered my work surface with wax paper. I didn’t want my maps to look all shiny and new, so I chose to dab them with a brown ink pad to give them an aged effect. If I ever break down and buy some Tim Holtz’ Distress Ink, I’ll make these again using it. I did some practice dabbing on my map scraps. There is nothing worse than doing something permanent to a project only to hate the result! With my map pieces sufficiently aged, I let them dry for about 5 mins just to make sure that they wouldn’t smudge in the next step.

Step Four:

Before adhering the maps to the tiles, I brushed a layer of Mod Podge onto the back of the maps and allowed them to dry for about 15 mins. I got this tip from Country Chic Cottage’s Map Coasters Tutorial. Doing this is supposed to reduce the extent to which the paper gets wrinkled once Mod Podged onto something.

Step Five:

I next brushed a healthy amount of Mod Podge onto my tiles, centered the map pieces, and smoothed out any bubbles. I must say that the maps weren’t wrinkled, so I’ll probably be using that tip from Country Chic Cottage again. I then let them to dry for about 15 mins.

Step Six:

With the maps adhered to the tiles, I brushed a layer of Mod Podge across the entire top of the coaster. I let them dry for about 15 mins and then repeated the process so that I had two layers of Mod Podge on each coaster.

Step Seven:

To make these coasters functional, I sealed them with a clear, glossy, indoor/outdoor spray. This step is critical if you intend to have any wet glasses sitting on the coasters. Always do this in a well-ventilated space! I wanted an excuse to soak up some sunshine, so I sprayed them outside.

Step Eight:

Finally the last step! To make the coasters furniture-friendly, I attached adhesive cork circles to the bottom of each tile. You could also use felt circles.

Here’s a closeup of the finished product. I cannot tell you how much I love these agora tiles! They look expensive, even though they aren’t, and have more weight to them than the standard, white, ceramic tiles. I will definitely be using them again.

These coasters, while not difficult to make, are a little time-consuming. This is the kind of project that I like to have going on while I’m doing other things like house cleaning. Maps are certainly not the only option. You can use scrapbook paper. I’ve even read of people using napkins. Although I’m going to keep these, I’m considering making more for Christmas presents.

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Tile Coasters

I must be the last person in the internet crafting world to make my own coasters. There are a ton of tutorials out there. Having said that, I like some more than others, and I’ve chosen to share Two Girls Being Crafty’s tutorial. I chose this one because they provide other ideas beyond scrapbook paper to decoupage onto the tiles. Examples include napkins and favorite cards. I would add photographs to the list of possibilities.

For my first effort, I did use scrapbook paper. I’ve had this beautiful chevron paper for a couple of months, and it seemed perfect. Here’s a look at how mine turned out.

I must confess that I did improvise just a little on their instructions. The tiles I purchased at the hardware store weren’t finished on all four sides, so I chose to paint the edges as well as the border around the paper. I did this before I Mod Podged the paper onto them. I also differed from the tutorial on what to place on the bottom of the coasters. Because I already had self-adhesive cork circles left over from another project, I used them instead of felt.

This project was definitely an easy one. I lucked out with the supplies and only needed to buy the tiles, which cost a whole $.16 each. These would make great gifts and certainly lend themselves to assembly line production. I always love that! I definitely recommend you make a trip to the hardware store and try these out this weekend. You won’t be disappointed.

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